By Lucy Kopana

The 7th National Science and Technology Conference held at the Papua New Guinea University of Technology (PNGUoT) from the 1st to the 4th of July brought together more than 100 participants to discuss and present research papers based on the theme, “Application of Science, Technology, Innovation, for Sustainable Economic Development.”
Amongst them were both academic and non-academic staff, students, and researchers from tertiary and research institutions around the country and abroad.

Vice Chancellor, Professor Ora Renagi expressed that PNGUoT was honoured to host the conference in the efforts to promote the practice of generating new knowledge, through research, and informing the nation of the results and its societal impact and to build academic capacity at the Universities and research institutes.
“This is the role of the Universities and research institutes in Society. The National Research Institutes motto describes it very well. To inquire, inform and influence society with scientific and technological facts and data.”
He said the role of universities is not just about educating young men and women to get employed, but it is a hub of knowledge where researches are conducted to inform and impact change in societies.

PNGUoT Vice – Chancellor, Professor Ora Renagi addressing the research delegates during the opening ceremony.

Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Science and Technology Council Secretariat Dr Kulala Mulung said the country is faced with so many issues, and the researchers and scientists play an important role in identifying issues and providing solutions.
“Our survival and existence are continuously threatened by issues of food, health, education, economy, technological revolution, growing population, and the inability to be competitive in market and trade.
Dr Mulung said the conference provides an avenue for scientists and researchers to share the insights, challenges, and opportunities.

The 7th National Science and Technology Conference was last hosted in 2015 at the University of Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby.  Dr Mulung said the event that was hosted this year after 9 years, was much bigger in terms of the number of speakers and support.

The sessions spread over four days were categorised into the following sub themes; Environment and Earth Sciences,Energy and Natural Resources, Well-being and information Society, Socio Economic Aspect, Climate Smart Agriculture, and Artificial Intelligence.

Delegates attending the conference opening ceremony at PNGUoT’s Taraka Campus in Lae.

Organising Committee Chairperson Dr Veronica Bue said the committee secured a publisher who will publish the proceedings online, giving more credibility to the presenters and the conference.
The conference was supported by the Department of National Planning and Monitoring, PNG Science and Technology Secretariat, National Gaming Control Board, Kumul Mineral Holdings Limited, Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited, PNGUoT, Telikom, National Agriculture Research Institute